Gates Foundation awards $12 million to teams hunting for universal flu vaccine

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Image: Charles Krupa/AP

Scientific teams from inside and outside the world of influenza research have been awarded funding to try to unlock mysteries that could provide the foundation for a future universal flu vaccine, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the philanthropy Flu Lab have announced.

The funds, up to $12 million, will be awarded to as many as eight teams of researchers, the Gates Foundation and Flu Lab announced [August 29] at Options for the Control of Influenza, the flu world’s largest scientific conference.

The foundation and Flu Lab recognized that on the issue of universal flu vaccines, there were two camps. One is pursuing incremental ways to make flu vaccines more broadly protective, but does not aim for what is often referred to as the holy grail of influenza — a vaccine that could protect against all flu viruses.

Related article:  We can cure Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, glioblastoma in mice. Why not humans?

The other camp is looking at how to design a flu vaccine that could protect against the multitude of strains that exist in nature, one which would not need to be frequently updated.

[T]he Gates Foundation decided to position itself in that camp — hence these grants, some of which are for more foundational work.

Read full, original post: With new grants, Gates Foundation takes an early step toward a universal flu vaccine

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